Political heavyweight Angela Alioto pulled papers to run for mayor of San Francisco on Monday morning in the upcoming June 2018 election.
Less than a week after Mayor Ed Lee’s unexpected death Dec. 12, the mayor’s race has drastically changed the plans of many potential candidates — the next mayor’s election will be June 2018, instead of November 2019.
Alioto served on the Board of Supervisors for two terms, from 1988 to 1997, and unsuccessfully ran for mayor twice, in 1991 and 2003.
Her June 2018 mayoral run would pit her against former state Sen. Mark Leno, Amy Farrah Weiss and four other filed candidates, and potentially rumored candidates such as Acting Mayor London Breed, supervisors Mark Farrell and Jane Kim, and Assemblymember David Chiu.
When asked why she’s running, Alioto answered with one word: “Homelessness.”
“Driving down the streets of San Francisco with so many people living in tents as if it’s OK, with such a lack of dignity, drives me nuts,” she told me Monday.
She cited a 10-year homelessness plan she worked on with former Mayor Gavin Newsom, as well as permanent supportive housing, as the path forward to solve homelessness.
When asked how she would pay for permanent homes for the homeless — a pernicious problem hounding mayors for decades — she said the budget of city-funded nonprofits serving the homeless was seriously bloated.
“Very, very tough decisions need to be made in any contract for $1 million to nonprofits that do not go eventually into permanent supportive housing,” she said.
Alioto said she is not deterred by Breed’s position as acting mayor, which may give Breed a leg-up against all potential mayoral candidates by virtue of incumbency.
“Whether she is permanent or temporary [mayor], I think it’s wonderful people step up to the plate,” Alioto said.
Alioto said that when she pulled papers at the Department of Elections to run for mayor Monday morning, she remembered her childhood days with her father Joseph Alioto, who was San Francisco’s 36th mayor, from 1968 to 1976.
“It feels very much like when dad was mayor,” she said. “It made me feel like I was home.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.
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